Institutionalised management accounting and control in farm businesses. By: Gottlieb, Uliana; Hansson, Helena; Johed, Gustav. Scandinavian Journal of Management. Jun2021, Vol. 37 Issue 2,

  • MAC in farms as small family businesses depend on the relative extent of embeddedness in several institutional logics.
  • Family’s influence on MAC is not unambiguously negative, rather one that affects who, how and when uses accounting.
  • Stakeholders carry logics into organizations through the intensity of the interactions and the involved learning.

This paper analyses the management accounting and control practices (MAC) in dairy farms as examples of small family firms, a segment that is rarely studied. We consider how the relative extent of embeddedness in the institutional logics of business, family and farming shapes MAC and how farmers cope with logic tensions through alignment and prioritising. First, our findings lend nuance to the suggested ‘negative’ role of family on the sophistication of MAC, showing the relevance of who handles the accounting, when and for what purpose. We also explain how MAC can be used even by managers in small firms who are close to actual operations. Secondly, we explain the significant impact of external stakeholders as carriers of logics on logic embeddedness and enactment. We find that this influence relates to the intensity of interactions and the learning involved in them, and how both are enabled by MAC.